CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA 一 The Mountain Party supports three election reform bills that have been introduced in the State House and Senate. Senate Bill 229 and House Bills 2215 and 2122, if adopted and signed into law, would each make an incredible improvement to democracy in West Virginia.
SB 229 seeks to implement Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for the election of Justices to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. While the Mountain Party prefers that RCV be implemented for all elections in the state, this modest legislation, if enacted, would familiarize voters with the new voting system.
HB 2215 aims to get West Virginia closer to the gold standard of fair ballot access law. The bill would allow a group to become a recognized political party if the group’s candidate receives one percent of the votes in an election for any one of six statewide offices, including that of Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney General or Commissioner of Agriculture. In addition, the bill allows for a group of affiliated voters to become a recognized political party if 5,000 or more individuals have identified as members of the party. Currently, ballot access for a minor political party can only occur by getting one percent of the vote for Governor or through the vigorous task of ballot access petitioning.
HB 2122 would have West Virginia join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which is an agreement among the states to elect the President and Vice President through a national popular vote. Sixteen states, amounting to 196 Electoral Votes (EVs), have signed onto the agreement. Once the number of signatories consists of at least 270 EVs, the electoral college would become obsolete.
With grassroots democracy as a key value of the Mountain Party, we will continue to advocate for legislation that promotes fair and equal elections.